The evidence for adverse health effects, other than physical dependency and withdrawal from caffeine consumption, varies in severity of effects and consistency of results among studies (see discussion in Chapter 2) except for physical dependency and withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance and dependence on caffeine have been identified in all ages, including school-age children, and withdrawal from regular caffeine intake is followed by generally mild effects such as moodiness, headache, and shakiness.

Although there may be some benefits associated with caffeine consumption among adults (see Chapter 2), the committee did not support offering products containing significant amounts of caffeine for school-age children because of the potential for adverse effects, including physical dependency and withdrawal (described in Chapter 2). Thus the committee judged that caffeine in significant quantities has no place in foods and beverages offered in schools. The committee recognized that some foods and beverages contain trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine and related substances. The intent of the committee was not to exclude such foods or beverages if the amounts of caffeine consumed are small and the product otherwise complies with the recommended nutrition standards.

Foods and Beverages Offered in Schools

Standard 7: Foods and beverages offered during the school day are limited to those in Tier 1.


Tier 1 foods and beverages have particular attributes making them “foods and beverages to encourage.” Thus it is appropriate to make them available as snacks throughout the school day and as à la carte items during school meal periods. As discussed in Chapter 2, the evidence supports the use of Tier 1 foods to

  • increase the current consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains by school-age children;

  • increase consumption of calcium-rich foods and beverages;

  • set standards for à la carte entrées that meet NSLP requirements or the recommended standards herein; and

  • reinforce innovation by industry to create food and dairy products more consistent with the DGA, thereby increasing healthful food choices for school-age children.

The committee concludes that policies encouraging the sale of fruit-,

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